Westwood Blvd has been designated a backbone of the LA 2010 Bike Plan Network and targeted for the extension of now fragmentary bike lanes.
The many cyclists who ride this corridor everyday, along with those would-be cyclists who have been afraid to get out there under current conditions, have welcomed this news. The stretch between Santa Monica and Pico presents particularly dangerous conditions for cyclists as now configured. This six block stretch was the scene of six reported bike collisions in 2011!
The safety argument in favor of bike lanes for Westwood Blvd is developed in a report prepared for the Bike Committee of the Westwood South of Santa Monica Home Owners’ Association. The report argues in support of the floating bike lane design presented at the public hearing of Feb 19. This design represents a creative compromise in meeting the needs of cyclists, motorists, and businesses. The LA Department of Transportation has determined that the design would have no significant impact on congestion since directional peak-flow travel lanes are preserved and traffic volumes for opposing direction during peak are well below the thresholds to register significant impact.
Street parking under the floating bike lane design is maintained at the existing level, the only difference being that during the evening peak it shifts from the west side to the east side. Given the substantial investment that property owners have made in off-street parking already, on-street parking accounts for less than ten percent of the total for this corridor. The report to the bike committee presents details on parking availability and discusses the economics of changes in street parking.
Bike lanes on Westwood Blvd offer much upside potential. Besides the protection of life and limb for those already riding, inducing more people to give up their cars and bike through the neighborhood will help alleviate congestion. And giving cyclists easier access to Westwood Blvd shops and restaurants will be good for business.
If you are concerned about bike safety for Westwood Blvd, please send a message to 5th district Councilman Paul Koretz to let him know: firstname.lastname@example.org. Six bike collisions in one year calls for a rethink of how we use this roadway.